Last Updated Tue, 21 Jun 2005 18:40:46 EDT
David Wilkins, the new U.S. ambassador to Canada, says there could be changes to proposed rules requiring Canadians to show passports at the border by 2008.
The former South Carolina legislator made the comments Tuesday after taking his oath of office at a ceremony in Washington, D.C.
Border security and trade issues such as beef and softwood lumber are the most important cross-border issues, Wilkins told reporters.
He also suggested a proposed law requiring Canadians crossing into the United States to show their passports may be changed before 2008, when it's supposed to come into effect.
"As I understand it, the timetable is 2008 for passports. That's still a long time from now and that's being looked at and talked about," said Wilkins.
Announced on April 5, the rules would require people entering the U.S. from countries including Canada, Mexico and Bermuda to show their passports. It is to become final this fall and be phased in by 2008.
A Republican and long-time supporter of U.S. President George W. Bush, the 59-year-old Wilkins turned down previous offers of a federal judgeship and ambassador's post in Chile.